New Professorship of Psychology and Professorial Fellow

Daniel Freeman

04 April 2023

Professor Daniel Freeman has been appointed the new Professor of Psychology and a Professorial Fellow at Magdalen. Daniel has been at Oxford since 2011, when he moved to the Department of Psychiatry as Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, and set up the Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (O-CAP) research group . He has recently joined the department of Experimental Psychology.

Daniel said, “It’s an honour to be appointed to Oxford’s Chair of Psychology. The outstanding achievements of David M Clark in the professorship sets the bar extremely high. It’s a wonderful department in which psychological research, practice, and teaching noticeably flourish.”

As well as being a consultant clinical psychologist, Daniel is a pioneer of using new technologies within psychological practice. For over a decade, Daniel has researched the use of virtual reality (VR) in helping people experiencing psychosis and persecutory delusions.

He developed the Feeling Safe programme, which allows patients to try out every day things in a virtual environment before overcoming their fears in a real-world setting. Additionally, Daniel’s programme gameChange is a fully automated therapy programme, in which a virtual therapist coaches the patient through scenarios. Daniel’s aim is to produce VR therapies that result in greater clinical effects than face-to-face therapies.

Daniel studied natural sciences at the University of Cambridge, completed a PhD and a doctorate in clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and then held a Wellcome Trust Fellowship and a Medical Research Council Senior Clinical Fellowship.

Daniel’s team is made up of clinical psychologists, computer scientists, trial co-ordinators, research assistants, and peer researchers. Their aim is to help improve the lives of people with mental health conditions by developing new cognitive-behavioural interventions. As well as developing a more accessible version of the Feeling Safe programme, the team is working on new automated VR therapies for needle fears and young patients with psychosis, among others.

We’re so excited to welcome Daniel as the new Professorial Fellow of Magdalen College.